Book Review: Immanuel: A Daily Guide to Reclaiming the True Meaning of Christmas

I mentioned a few days ago that I am tackling my Twelve by 2012 goals -- a few of them, anyway. One that I am doing is reading quite a few books. I can't wait to review them all for you! (Hope you like a good book, too -- I've read some really good ones!)

This book has become an annual favorite. It is more of a devotional book than a read-through, but I am still going to review it and HIGHLY recommend it anyway.

Immanuel: A Daily Guide to Reclaiming Christmas is a six week devotional guide that focuses on praying through the names of Jesus (Lord, Immanuel, Jesus, King of Kings, Child, Bright Morning Star).

The weeks are five day studies, provide introductory scriptures, a (relevant -- not overly fluffy) thought that coincides with those scriptures or the meaning of the name of Christ, and a prayer focus for the day. Depending on how long I spend in prayer, the devotional can take me anywhere from 10-20 minutes. It is not a lengthy study, but it has been deeply meaningful to me.

I think this is my third year to do this study. I have always counted back six weeks from Christmas to do the study to finish the week of Christmas. It has made Christmas deeply meaningful and a precious reminder of the greatest Christmas gift ever, and has been a peaceful reminder through the season to keep my focus on that which matters, not the glittery pull of the world's interpretation.

For several reasons -- one of them being a book I have decided that I want to read every year during the Thanksgiving season (to review soon) -- I am considering making it the 4 weeks before Christmas (the true Advent season) and the two weeks following, starting my new year focusing on Christ.

This was a book that I bought on impulse walking into a Christian book store a few years ago -- and I have never been more pleased with an impulse purchase in my life. I recommend this book as a gift or for your own personal use every Christmas season.

"The Bible is nothing if not the persistent story of God's desire to dwell with His people."
Ann Spangler

What about you? What are you reading now? Anything I need to read?

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